The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks sent players to Australia in anticipation of their Opening Day two-game series March 22 and 23. Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went to Australia a few days after the season ended while Dodgers catch A.J. Ellis and DBacks pitcher Patrick Corbin are currently Down Under.
Ellis and Corbin toured the famed Sydney Cricket Ground while announcing both teams will play exhibition games against Team Australia from the WBC. However, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson doesn’t feel sending Ellis is good enough according to Dan Bickley of AZCentral.com:
We had Goldy go down there, along with Patrick Corbin and Derrick Hall, our president and CEO. Who’s the other team got down there? Are they too (expletive) good? Honestly?
Well “Gibby”, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw left for Africa yesterday with his wife Ellen to help build orphanages and continue their work with their charity “Kershaw’s Challenge”. Yasiel Puig is busy holding clinics at Dodger Stadium and surprising kids at local Little Leagues as he continues to acclimate to life in the states.
Things ignited between the two teams after a benches-clearing brawl in mid-June after Zack Greinke was hit near the face. Then in September, the Diamondbacks organization took a shot at the Dodgers for “Poolgate” as players, executives and even politicians were upset about the celebration in the pool.
DBacks GM Kevin Towers discussed his anger about seeing the Dodgers feed Juan Uribe bananas during his three home run game and managing partner Ken Kendrick also tried to spark the rivalry between the two teams saying the DBacks “owed” the Dodgers this season.
Ellis is one of the most charismatic players on the Dodgers and taking a shot that he was their choice to send to Australia is pathetic. Since the Guggenheim Group purchased the Dodgers close to two years ago the Dodgers have had a target on their backs and Gibson is the latest member of the DBacks to take a shot.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers talked trade at the GM Meetings.